Born in Lebanon, Indiana in 1931, Patricia ‘Pat’ Laursen was a beloved wife, mother, and friend. She graduated from a one room schoolhouse at age sixteen and worked her way through college at Texas Wesleyan University earning a sociology degree. After graduating from college, Pat accepted a job with the Young Women’s Christian Association, boarded a bus in Texas, and arrived in Asheville to live and work. She met her husband Ernst in Asheville and they married in 1958. For most of her adult life, she worked at Warren Wilson College, ending her official work tenure as the Director of Alumni Affairs in 1999. She loved her work and her students.
Pat lost her mother at a young age and had little stability or consistency in her childhood. Despite this, or maybe because of this, she excelled at nurturing nearly everyone who entered her life. She rarely spoke disparagingly about anyone. If she had something to say, she usually just spoke her mind – firmly, but kindly. She had a good sense of humor, was infinitely hospitable, and opened her home to anyone in need. Pat was generous and accepting of all people. She was good at allowing people to be exactly who they were.
Pat worked tirelessly for what was important to her. From her we learned: compassion, courage, honesty, generosity, and what true, good, loving relationships look like. She cared for, and deeply loved her family and friends.
She is survived by her husband of 62 years, Ernst; her son, Mark (Stacy Walker); her daughter, Denise; and brother, Monroe Knight (Jennie) and family of Joshua, Texas, The Knight and Davidson families of Gainesville, Texas, and the Doan Laursen family of Oxford, North Carolina. Pat is also survived by her extended and chosen family in Asheville: Karen and Tom Marberger, Nancy and Jeff Ruppert, Melanie Banks, and the Art and Jane Rex family (Ashley, Cassie, Jennings) of Boone, NC.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to either Warren Wilson College, Patricia K. and Ernst R. Laursen Student Life Award (specify on check), online at: https://www.warren-wilson.edu/giving/make-a-gift/ designate ‘other’ and type in Patricia K. and Ernst R. Laursen Student Life Award, or to the charity of your choice in your own city or neighborhood which will directly assist people in need.
Due to the current pandemic, a memorial service will be held later. Penland Family Funeral Home is honored to be caring for the Laursen Family and assisting them with arrangements.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Patricia "Pat" Ann (Knight) Laursen, please visit our floral store.
Warren Wilson College - Patricia K. and Ernst R. Laursen Student Life Award
701 Warren Wilson Road, Swannanoa NC 28778